There’s something extraordinary about Azafran Soup with Spinach Greens and Yellow Cornmeal Dumplings. Its flavor tantalizes and satisfies the palate with every spoonful.

Azafran Soup with Spinach Greens and Yellow Cornmeal Dumplings

Azafran Soup with Spinach Greens and Yellow Cornmeal Dumplings
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Yellow Cornmeal Dumplings:
  • 1 Cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Cups chicken stock
Azafran Soup:
  • 6 Cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons azafran (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 yellow summer squash, diced (zucchini)
  • 3 Cups corn kernels
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and stemmed
  1. To make the dumplings, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and milk and mix well to make a batter that is moist but not sticky. If the dough is too moist, knead in a little more flour.
  2. Divide the dough into 1-inch balls, or flatten and shape into small triangles.
  3. Pour the chicken stock into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and drop in the dumplings. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until tender and cooked all the way through. Remove the dumplings from the stock and set aside.
  4. For the soup, heat 2 cups of the water and the azafran in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced by half, about 7 minutes.
  5. Pour through a fine sieve, discard the azafran, and return the liquid to the saucepan. Add salt, pepper, stock, and the remaining 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add squash, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add cork kernels and simmer another 5 minutes. Add dumplings and spinach, cook 2 minutes, and serve immediately.
Azafran, also called Native American saffron by Native Americans, is an herb that is actually fine threads from the stigma of the safflower plant. Despite the name, azafran is not the same as saffron, which is an expensive spice derived from the crocus plant in the iris family. (Saffron can be substituted for azafran, though: use 1 pinch of saffron for 2 Tablespoons of azafran).

Azafran is commonly sold in Latin American markets and specialty herb stores. It can also be ordered by mail. It is best stored in a cool dark place and will last several months in a sealed plastic or glass container.

From "Native American Cooking," by Lois Ellen

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